Hills of Gangwon alive with music

  • Published : Jul 12, 2010 - 16:14
  • Updated : Jul 12, 2010 - 16:14
It’s that time of year when sweet and inspirational tunes fill the air of the scenic mountainous region of Gangwon Province and help assuage the appetite of classical music fans.

The 7th Great Mountains International Music Festival titled “Create and Recreate” will be taking place from July 23 to Aug. 13 at the Alpensia resort.

Touted as a classical music lovers’ festival, the event this year will feature over 55 concerts and programs with distinguished musicians and talented music students from all over the globe.

The Great Mountains Music Festival is considered a premier festival in Asia, as it brings together some of the greatest musicians and talented music students from all over the world to the scenic mountain region of Gangwon Province.

The Great Mountains Music Festival is dedicated to presenting innovative new compositions under a thematic umbrella that ties them with traditional works, organizers said. The program will focus on the “ever-continuing process where existing works become an inspiration for new creations.”
Musicians participating in the Great Mountains Music Festival perform Popper’s “Requiem for Three Cellos and Piano, Op. 66” at last year’s opening concert led by conductor Aldo Parisot. Great Mountains Music Festival & School

The opening concert this year will feature “Lacrimae Beati,” a composition of Richard Danielpour commissioned by the Festival. The title of this work translated into English means “Tears of the Blessed One.” It references Wolfgang A. Mozart, as the composition was inspired by the last eight bars of the late composer’s “Requiem Mass in D minor (K. 626).”

“Through the process of creation and re-creation, in which the past and present act as an inspiration for the impending, we influence our contemporaries as well as the next generation to create a new history. We also keep in mind that such process occurs not only in music but also in the collective human experience,” said Hyo Kang, the festival artistic director, in explaining this year’s theme.

He added that Janacek’s “String Quartet No. 1 after L.N. Tolstoy: The Kreutzer Sonata,” is one such work that brings listeners’ attention to the ever-evolving nature of the creative processes. This work will be performed on Aug. 6 with violinists Huang Chun-wen and Emilie-Anne Gendron, violist David Kim and cellist Ani Aznavoorian.

Janacek was inspired by the dramatic climax of Tolstoy’s novel “The Kreutzer Sonata,” while Tolstoy was first inspired to write his novel by Beethoven’s Sonata of the same name.

The festival organizers highlighted that this year’s theme “Create and Recreate” is to be explored through a concert program reflecting an stories of evolution such as the one involving Beethoven, Tolstoy and Janacek.

Musicians such as Aldo Parisot, Chung Myung-wha and Jian Wang will be some of the “regulars” to return to the annual summer event. Violinist Elmar Oliveira and violist Lawrence Dutton will be returning for the second time having been impressed by their first experience, the organizers said.

New musicians to take the stage this year include Lise de la Salle, a 22-year-old pianist rapidly taking on world-class status, while legendary violinist Chung Kyung-wha will join as a faculty member.

Another special feature of this year’s festival is that it will take place in a newly built concert hall at the Alpensia Resort. Another noteworthy aspect is that the Great Mountains Music Festival and School organized a Festival Orchestra for the first time, allowing for a wider repertoire compared to previous years.

“Distinguished Artists Series,” the festival’s concert program, begins July 29. Reservations can be made through www.gmmfs.com or www.clubbalcony. For more information, call (033) 249-3374.

By Yoo Soh-jung (sohjung@heraldcorp.com)